Top Ten

December 2, 2010

Quebec university sector underfunded by $620 million, CREPUQ reports

Yesterday the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities released a study showing that the province's university sector is underfunded compared to universities in the rest of Canada. For 2007-08, the shortfall was an estimated $620 million, net of funds earmarked for financial aid. CREPUQ proposes that university funding be the subject of long-term planning with a view to at least reach parity with the rest of the country no later than 2019-20. This would involve raising tuition fees. CREPUQ would like the following proposals to be considered: 25% of any tuition hike should be set aside for income-based student financial aid; the establishment of a significant budget as part of a donation-matching program; and the possibility of establishing an income-based mechanism for the repayment of student loans. CREPUQ News Release | Study (in French)

Quebec increases student aid by nearly $13 million

The Quebec government announced Wednesday that certain expenditures included in the calculation of student financial assistance will be increased by 2% for the 2010-11 award year. This annual indexation leads to an increase of $12.6 million in financial aid to be paid to students receiving aid this academic year. The indexation corresponds with the forecast consumer price index for Quebec in 2010. It will come into effect the first week of January. Quebec News Release (in French)

Ontario students, faculty, staff question need for Online Institute

In response to the Ontario government's stated intentions of creating an Ontario Online Institute, students, staff, and faculty have jointly released a document that identifies concerns about online learning and recommends other ways to broaden access for qualified college and university applicants. The coalition, representing over 300,000 PSE students and 50,000 professors and workers in the PSE sector across Ontario, calls on the province to spend its money on improving the existing online infrastructure for distance learning instead of establishing the Institute. The report recommends investing in existing e-learning initiatives, expanding broadband access throughout Ontario, and reducing the cost of online education for students. OCFUA News Release | Read the report

AUCC lays out priorities for next federal budget

In its pre-budget submission, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada recommends the federal government introduce a 4% increase to the budgets of the 3 granting agencies in each of the next 2 years, and pump $79 million over the next 2 years into the Canada Graduate Scholarships Program. AUCC also proposes the government allocate $22 million a year for 2 years to support a major international education marketing effort. Another recommendation is to increase funding for Aboriginal graduate scholarships by $10 million per year for 2 years. AUCC also proposes earmarked funding for pilot programs to increase Aboriginal student access and retention in university programs. Read the pre-budget submission

Ottawa extends Knowledge Infrastructure Program deadline

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced yesterday an extended deadline for completion of Economic Action Plan infrastructure projects, including those funded by the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, Canada's $2-billion infrastructure fund for colleges and universities, by one full construction season to October 31, 2011. The extension is expected to allow sufficient time for virtually all the remaining projects to be completed. AUCC and Polytechnics Canada welcome the extension. Office of the PM News Release | AUCC News Release | Polytechnics Canada News

Alberta reviews proposal to limit non-academic fees

The Alberta government is considering a joint proposal from several student lobby groups that could prevent provincial universities from imposing mandatory non-academic fees without student approval in the future. The proposal before Alberta's advanced education minister would ensure that such fees would have to be approved by an institution's student union. If the student union does not approve the fee, it could go to a referendum. A ministry spokesman says the minister will be studying the proposal further, and so far he likes what he sees. This year the University of Calgary introduced a $450 mandatory non-academic fee, and the University of Alberta has a new $290 non-instructional fee. The Gateway (uAlberta student newspaper)

Enrolment rises at uLethbridge

There are just under 8,500 students enrolled at the University of Lethbridge, including its satellite campuses in Calgary and Edmonton, up from last year's enrolment of 8,200. Fuelling the enrolment growth is the increased number of adult learners at the institution, where more than 700 mature students are enrolled. There has been growth in graduate student enrolment at uLethbridge with over 500 grad students enrolled. Many graduate programs have been introduced in the last few years and the university is continuing to develop new programs. Prairie Post

NS introduces Adult Learning Act

Yesterday the Nova Scotia government tabled the Adult Learning Act, which will formalize the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning into law, providing governing and accountability measures to ensure the continued quality and effectiveness of adult learning. The school co-ordinates all adult learning programs, policies, and services in Nova Scotia. Programs are tuition-free, available in English and French, and offered in partnership with the Nova Scotia Community College, regional school boards, Université Sainte-Anne, and community learning organizations. NS News Release

Athabasca U wins ACU marketing award

Athabasca University's student recruitment publications AU Viewbook and the Book of Answers have garnered the 2010 Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) PR, Marketing and Communications Award in the student publications category. Wilfrid Laurier University earned an honourable mention for its 2010 President's Report in the corporate publications category. Launched in 2003, the ACU PR, Marketing and Communications Network has over 400 members across 300 institutions Commonwealth-wide. The ACU was established in 1913 and is the world's oldest inter-university network with over 500 members on 6 continents. ACU News Release | Athabasca U News

Narcissistic students OK with cheating, US study finds

According to a new study from Ohio State University, college students who exhibit narcissistic tendencies are more likely than their peers to cheat on exams and assignments. The findings suggest narcissists were motivated to cheat because their academic performance works as an opportunity to show off to others, and they did not feel particularly guilty about cheating. While exhibitionism -- the desire to show off -- was associated with academic dishonesty, the other dimensions of narcissism -- the desire for power and the belief you are a special person -- were not as strongly linked to cheating. Ohio State U Research News